Aug 23, 2021

For this rich loaf a melted stick of butter is poured over the batter, which is baked with the butter slowly moving to the bottom-and then, out of the oven, turned upside down so the butter goes back through the loaf. From top to bottom and then bottom to top, the loaf becomes permeated with butter all along the way.

The recipe is from Georgia where self-rising flour is widely used, as it is in most of the South. The loaf carries with it the fine fragrance of fresh oregano leaves. Barbara St. Amand grew the oregano in her Kennesaw, Georgia, garden and flew north with the recipe and the herb to bake test loaves in my kitchen.

Ingredients:

1 medium (8 1/2″-x-4 1/2″) loaf pan, greased or Teflon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

By Hand or Mixer:

Measure the flour, sugar, and salt into a mixing or mixer bowl. Stir to blend. Pour in the beer and add the oregano leaves. With a wooden spoon or a mixer flat beater, work the batter for a few moments to be certain all of the ingredients are thoroughly blended.

By Processor:

Attach the steel blade.

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the work bowl. Pulse 2 times to mix the dry ingredients. With the machine running, pour in the beer and add the chopped oregano. Stop the machine when the ingredients are blended.

Shaping:

Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Pour the warm butter carefully over the top of the batter. It will not be absorbed into the batter until baking begins.

Baking:

Bake the loaf for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Test with a toothpick or a metal skewer to determine if it is done. Inserted into the heart of the loaf, it will come out dry and clean.

(If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50°F (28°C)).

Final Step:

Remove the pan from the oven but don’t turn out the loaf for 15 minutes and until somewhat cooled.

Hold a baking rack against the top of the loaf and quickly but carefully turn upside down so the top of the loaf is on the bottom. Put it aside to cool – and to allow the butter to drift back into the loaf.

Fingers may get buttery when a slice is eaten out of hand, but it’s a small price to pay for something so rich, so good.

Note: If self-rising flour is not at hand, substitute an equal amount of all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon baking powder and an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Written by Ginger Cook